Philly.com – In Penn State frat case, the truth has consequences

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Philly.com – In Penn State frat case, the truth has consequences

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By Ronnie Polaneczky, Daily News Columnist

March 23, 2015

SO MUCH ABOUT the Penn State Kappa Delta Rho fraternity case is depressing.

There’s the secret 144-member Facebook page with photos of naked and half-naked passed-out women, some in sexual poses that cops describe as “graphic” and “appalling.”

Dubbed “2.0,” the page is not to be confused with its first Facebook iteration, “Covert Business Operations,” which was taken down when a victim who was the subject of a nude photo complained.

It’s chilling that these young men so lacked empathy that the only thing they learned from her pain and humiliation was to honor her request, wait a bit, then start back up again.

Then there’s the abhorrent comments the photos elicited about the girls, like “sloots” and “I banged her lol.”

And then there’s the despicable defense by at least one frat member, in an interview with Philadelphia magazine, that this practice was harmless “satire.”

“It was a satirical group,” the anonymous defender told Holly Otterbein. “It wasn’t malicious whatsoever. It wasn’t intended to hurt anyone. It wasn’t intended to demean anyone.”

I guess it would be no big deal, then, for some Penn State sorority sisters to tiptoe into this dude’s room while he’s passed out, pull down his Joe Boxers, photograph him and his slumbering giblets and then post the shots for 144 chatty sisters to share.

Better yet, they could record a secret video of the dope while he’s masturbating (college guys do lots of that) and tweet out the entire footage, from first tug to happy ending.

C’mon, it’s satire!
But you know what’s most depressing?

We don’t know the name of the frat member who found the Facebook posts so disturbing that he brought them to the attention of police, who have launched an investigation.

That’s right: The lone guy with a righteous heart, working conscience and the moral fiber to exercise them is anonymous to us, identified by police only as a “cooperating witness” in this mess.

It’s as if there’s something so shameful about coming to the defense of exploited women – possibly criminally exploited women – that he dare not expose himself as the girlie man who zigged right when his frat boyz zagged wrong.

Thank God he knew there was something rotten inside a frat whose core beliefs include the notion that a passed-out broad is a consenting broad.

This kid deserves a medal. But I wouldn’t blame him for not coming forward to accept it. Who wants to endure the wrath of the KDR bros who believe they’re the real victims here?

In the Philly mag interview, this young man is referred to by his anonymous, defensive frat brother as “the one kid who snitched out the group.” The kid who, if he’d kept his mouth shut, wouldn’t have ignited

“the fire of indignant, misplaced self-righteousness that looks to ruin people’s lives and unjustly ruin reputations” of frat members who were engaged in “humorous, albeit possibly misguided, antics of a bunch of college kids.”

This shouldn’t need to be explained, but a “humorous, albeit possibly misguided” antic is taking a selfie of your own sexually posed body. An “outrageous, and possibly criminal” one happens when you photograph the sexually posed body of someone else, who is too incapacitated to give consent.

How could this fool not know the difference?

News of the Penn State scandal comes on the heels of a different kind of repugnant frat behavior that went down on a University of Oklahoma bus full of partying Sigma Alpha Epsilon members.

By now we’ve all seen footage of those idiots singing their frat’s
sickeningly racist song. It proudly declares, “There will never be a n—–
SAE, there will never be a n—– SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he’ll never sign with me, there will never be a n—– SAE.”

Well, now there’ll never be another SAE chapter on the university’s campus. The national fraternity shut it down, and the two boys who led the raucous ditty have been expelled.

Some have said the expulsion was too harsh a punishment, that a better response would have been to bring students of all races together for sensitivity training that would change the conversation at UO. I think the punishment is just fine but that the training should happen anyway, to make sure everyone gets why this was so, so wrong.

There have to be consequences stark enough to cut through the numbness these students have developed that keeps them from seeing the humanity in others.

Maybe when they’re older, when they have kids, they’ll get it. They’ll get it the way former Phillies pitcher Curt Schilling gets it.

Schilling, like the Penn State KDR “snitch,” brought bad behavior to the public eye. But he’s old and confident enough to use his real name.

When his softball-playing daughter Gabriella got accepted into the college of her dreams, he tweeted proudly of her accomplishment. When Twitter trolls responded with spectacularly vile comments about his lovely, hard-working, exemplary daughter, he went ballistic.

He tracked down the worst offenders, found out where they went to school and worked and then publicly outed them. Their mortified school administrators and employers did the rest – suspending one and firing the other.

Maybe sensitivity training would have coaxed these guys to be better behaved, to speak less crudely about females, to realize that an actual young woman was the subject of their raunch. But sometimes the best “training” is to endure the god-awful consequences you never saw coming.

They have a speedy way of teaching you lessons you’ll never forget.

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